The 2021 Inauguration​ and Beyond
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The 2021 Inauguration​ and Beyond

My reflection on Joe Biden's inauguration and a look at his first days in office

35
The 2021 Inauguration​ and Beyond

Two days ago, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn into office as President and Vice President of the United States. Until that day, I hadn't felt hope for this nation in a long time. After watching a radical right-wing mob storm the Capitol and threaten the institution of American democracy, I was terrified for the state of our affairs last week. It was a deeply unsettling display of insurrection and domestic terrorism, incited by the (former) Commander-in-Chief himself, Donald Trump. The next day, Congress brought forth Articles of Impeachment for the second time under Trump's administration, an event that has yet to occur in American history.

To put it lightly, I, and millions of Americans, felt despondent. Watching the country tear itself apart from the inside was horrifying, and although Trump only had a few days left in office, my faith in our government wavered once again. Yet, seeing the President and Vice President-elect stand before the Washington Monument to honor the lives lost to COVID-19, I felt some peace settle in. The next morning, I watched in awe as Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Kamala Harris, and Doug Emhoff emerged on the Capitol steps. This was the first inauguration I've ever truly cared to watch. It was also the first presidential election I'd ever gotten to vote in, and I couldn't contain my pride. Although I didn't watch much of Trump's inauguration, I still remember the looming sense of sadness I felt from watching parts of it. That air didn't seem so present this year.

With a small but diverse and ecstatic crowd, the Inauguration was breathtaking. Youth Nobel Laureate Amanda Gorman gave an exceptional performance of her poem "The Hill We Climb." If you didn't watch it, you're genuinely missing out; It was one of so many unique and spectacular moments throughout the ceremony: Garth Brooks, a known Republican, singing "Amazing Grace." Lady Gaga fervently singing the National Anthem. Jennifer Lopez singing Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" and reciting lines of the Constitution in Spanish. The monochrome fashion looks from the past and present Presidential families. Even seeing former Vice President Mike Pence attend, humbly honoring the new administration without Donald Trump at his side.

When it was time to swear in Kamala Harris, tears welled in my eyes. The term "Madam Vice President" was no longer a dream, but a long-awaited and joyful reality. Standing on the shoulders of women who fought before her, the sound of Kamala's "So help me God" shattered glass ceilings. The admiration of millions of American women poured out to her, a daughter of immigrants, a woman of color. A first, but not a last. When Joe Biden followed, and his family watched him with such love and respect, I was overwhelmed by the dignity being restored to the White House. At that moment, I couldn't have been more proud to be an American.

I am not foolish enough to believe that one politician or administration can eliminate our problems, nor do I think that a Democrat-controlled Congress will mean sweeping progressive legislation. It will still be a time for organizing and advocacy, but perhaps more importantly, it will be a time for healing. In Biden's inaugural address, he emphasized his commitment to unifying the nation, a message that so many Americans sorely need. With the deep hatred and division that has been sown into the public, there is immense room for change and an even more profound need for it.

Character matters in the Presidency, and I believe that Joe Biden has that. He often speaks of transparency and integrity, something the presidential office has lacked for a while now. Biden has inherited a country in crisis, but he has plans to bring us forward. He signed 17 executive orders on his first day as President, including measures to provide immediate COVID relief, rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, end the Keystone Pipeline construction, strengthen civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ citizens, and restructure the priorities of ICE, to name a few. I hope he carries that spirit with him and remains faithful to his promises in years to come because, as Amanda Gorman said on January 20th, "For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it." So, good luck Joe and Kamala. We're rooting for you.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less
Entertainment

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

232480
illustration of the fibonacci sequence
StableDiffusion

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

89204
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments